He Is Risen
As we celebrate Easter, it is important to reflect on the significance of this holiday. As a young boy, Easter was a holiday where we woke up to a basket full of candy and chocolate-covered bunnies. We all dressed up in our best clothes, went to church, and heard a message about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – the promised Messiah. We got together with family, had Easter egg hunts, ate a lot of food, and then took family pictures. While these traditions were memorable and great fun, it took me quite a while to realize that there was so much more to the Easter celebration. You see, I spent much of my life trying to check off all the right boxes, doing the right things, and performing the part of being “a good Christian.” I was living what I called a compartmentalized life, and it was exhausting! I began to experience the slow fade of burnout. I was longing for more from life. My heart was hungry for more. Around that time, I heard a talk on John 15 where Jesus said that “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” That talk and verse hit home for me, and I began a new journey of spending time in God's word daily. I wanted to have unbroken communion with the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. It was at this point that the Easter message finally became real to me. The person of Jesus Christ became real to me, and the power of the Holy Spirit began to manifest in my life. What a joy to finally realize that the resurrection life was available to me! How grateful I am that the Lord patiently pursued me through the years, moving me from religion to relationship. As I have grown in my faith in Christ, the message of Easter has transitioned from being just another fun holiday to becoming the foundation on which I live my life. I have come to know through experience that the God of the universe loves us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price of sin for us — a price we could not pay. And to bring it home on a personal level, a price I could not pay no matter how much I tried to perform.
The Celebration of Resurrection Life
The celebration of Easter often makes me wonder, “What held Jesus to the post as He was whipped almost to the point of death – a couple of pieces of leather? What held him to the cross as he was crucified – nails? Jesus had legions of angels standing at the gates of heaven waiting for Him to give them the green light to come to His defense. Straps of leather? I don’t think so! Nails? No way!” The answer is “Love!” Love for you and me was the only thing
holding Him up on the cross. His love for you and me, while we were still sinners, was so great that He completed the redemptive mission that God had given Him.
When He cried out, “It is finished!”, Justice was satisfied, and Mercy began her eternal reign. When the smoke cleared, Jesus Christ had conquered sin and the grave. Mankind could now enjoy the resurrection life.
I am so thankful, humbled, and grateful for the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the absolute truth of the gospel that meets each one of us wherever we are in life. As we observe this Easter, may it be a time of renewal and hope. A time to remember and celebrate the fact that we serve a God of love and redemption. He is always working behind the scenes for our ultimate good.
Happy Easter to you and yours!
Jesse and Carol May
JH Israel Board Members